May 12, 2015
REDLANDS >> Voyager Search started in June 2008, with a $60,000 investment by founders Brian Goldin and Ryan McKinley. The two saw a need in the Geospatial world and found a way to fill it.
Within months they had their first client, Stu Rich from PenBay in Maine who gave them $1,500 for a Voyager desktop license.
A couple months after setting up shop, their first large-scale sale happened in South Africa with an even larger deal with Northrop Grumman that followed.
Now a multimillion dollar company, Voyager Search was recently recognized by the magazine, CIO Review. Goldin, the company’s CEO, was on the magazine’s April cover. A year ago, Esri’s President and founder Jack Dangermond, who according to Forbes is the 628th wealthiest man in the world with a net worth of $3.1 billion, was on the cover for the same category of recognition, most innovative GIS (Geographic Information Systems) company of the year. Goldin was nominated for the award anonymously.
“You don’t say Esri and Voyager in the same breath because one is so much bigger than the other, but making the cover is a validation of all the hard work we have done,” said Kris Goodfellow, the company’s senior vice president in charge of operations for the last 2 years.
“To be recognized for being innovative by your peers is awesome,” said Goodfellow. “We live in a world where we are great at building software but not at doing marketing so this is huge for us.”
Goodfellow said they have been getting a lot more calls.
Both Goldin and Goodfellow worked at Esri. Goldin learned about geographic information systems, or GIS, midway through his college career at the University of Cincinnati.
“He was waiting for a friend to get out of a GIS class and picked up a GIS magazine outside of the classroom. He was hooked right away, changed majors and Esri gave him his first internship out of college,” said Goodfellow. Goldin then worked his way through several departments before leaving to do consulting work after 12 years with Esri.
Goodfellow worked at Esri for 5 years before leaving to work on consumer websites for real estate.
“I was getting ready to leave that job and was going to move away and Brian said he needed someone. It just worked out,” Goodfellow said.
Goldin met McKinley, his business partner and co-founder of Voyager Search, when he was working at Applied Minds. The two did a project together using search technology. They realized there was no good data management system that didn’t require people to share tons of data. Their little project became Voyager, GIS.
They both left their consulting jobs and decided to go all-in with Voyager.
“They were self sacrificing in that they used their own savings and didn’t take venture capital. They did what Jack Dangermond did in a way,” said Goodfellow. Brian, now the CEO, and McKinley is the chief technology officer of Voyager Search.
The company changed names as the market and their product changed.
“We feel that by helping organizations better understand their data and better answer their questions then they can start to answer questions they haven’t even thought of,” Goldin said.
The company has clients all over the world.
“The Voyager technology makes sharing massive amounts of digital information simpler,” said Goodfellow. “If you think of icloud or dropbox, those places require you to move content to another location. But imagine you are a huge organization and need to share all your data with another organization, especially GIS data which is extraordinarily heavy.
“Voyager acts as a librarian. This means users can leave all their data infrastructure in place and search across it without moving a thing, then Voyager extracts all the information the company needs. It can also clean up your data,” said Goodfellow.
Voyager Search has the capability of assisting in emergency operations.
“Let’s say there is a disaster and FEMA comes in and has a set of national data layers, as does local government and other aid organizations. They all come in with massive blocks of data and can’t find each other’s information or share anything. We cut through the challenges of sharing information. When there’s chaos we can bring clarity,” said Goodfellow.
“Redlands is at the heart of the geospatial GIS world,” Goldin said. “I have a background of working here for 20 years now and it’s a great community. It’s a good central point for starting a business.”
Voyager Search has employees in Redlands and they hope to hire more in the near future.
“That is what a business should be doing, hiring local, adding to the innovation of technology to this place. It’s great to have small businesses and hire local but it’s also exciting to have a business that are contributing to the innovation in the world,” said Goodfellow
The company has new software coming out within the next few weeks. Named Navigo, the software is a search engine for a front-end user that is very consumer friendly.
This article originally appeared on Redlands Daily Facts.